LIBRARY OF CUI^^^- 014 110 597 8 .T78 Copy 1 ROBERT TREAT FOUNDER, FARMER, SOLDIER, STATESMAN, GOVERNOR Paper read before the Nkw Havkx Colony Historical Society By Gbneeal George Ha.re Ford April 17tli, 1911 [Reprint from Volume VITI, 5I^e\v Haven Colony Historical Society, published April, 1914.] '^&^tiejS^C ROBERT TREAT FOUNDER, FARMER, SOLDIER, STATESMAN, GOVERNOR Paper read before the New HAVE^f Colony Historical Society By General George Hare Ford '1 April 17th, 1911 [Reprint from Volume VIII, New Haven Colony Historical Society, published April, 1914. ] 7^ ROBERT TREAT: FOUNDER, FARMER, SOLDIER, STATESMAN, GOVERNOR. By George Haee Fokd. [Read April 17, 1911.] John Fiske, in his history of the "Beginnings of New Eng- land," says, "The native of Connecticut or Massachusetts who wanders about rural England to-day, finds no part of it so homelike as the cosy villages and smiling fields and quaint market towns. Countless little features remind him of home. In many instances the homestead which his forefathers left, when they followed Winthrop or Hooker to America, is still to be found, well-kept and comfortable; the ancient manor- house, much like the ISTew England farmhouse, with its long sloping roof, and its narrow casements from which one might have looked out upon the anxious march of Edward IV, from Havenspur to the field of victory, in days when America was unknown. "In the little parish church which has stood for perhaps a thousand years, plain enough to suit the taste of the sternest Puritan, one may read upon the cold pavement one's own name and the names of one's friends and neighbors ; and yonder on the village green, one comes with bated breath upon the simple inscription which tells of some humble hero who on that spot, in the evil reign of Mary, suffered death by fire. The colonial history of ISTew England is so associated with that of the rulers of the mother country that, to comprehend the existing conditions, it becomes necessary in a measure to consider the characteristics of the men and the methods that controlled Old as well as New England during this period. 0CI,A3747OO JUL 13 1914 >^^ ROBERT TREAT. 163 ""j^ In the latter part of the reign of James I, bands of Puritans =.i were found studying the subject of immigration to America. ^Considering the climate South too hot and E"orth too cold, they 7\::\,decided to found their American colony on Delaware Bay. ^ The Mayfloiuer sailed on its tempestuous voyage, and, driven by adverse winds, landed on the 'New England "stern and rock- bound coast," instead of Delaware Bay, making Plymouth Rock famous and Massachusetts the accidental foundation of New England. The founders of Massachusetts and Connecticut were men conspicuous for their high character and marked ability. Liver- more says of the jSTew Haven colony: "The company was remarkable. Davenport and Eaton surpassed all other com- rades in dignity and influence and in the colony were many wealthy Londoners." Other distinguished men were Hopkins, the founder of three grammar schools; five able ministers, four school teachers; one became the first master of Harvard College, and the other the first ISTew Englander to publish an educational work. Pre- ceded by Winthrop, Saltonstall, Wareham, Hooker and others, important companies had arrived and settled in Massachusetts and the upper part of Connecticut. Among the first-comers at Wethersfield appears Mr. Richard Trott, the name "Trott" being the original English family name of the American "Treat." The family history of this settler of Wethersfield is readily traced back to John Trott of Staple Grove, Taunton, England, as far back as 1458. Taunton, a place of English antiquity, was originally a Roman settlement and the family of Trott were evidently of Roman origin, as an entry made in the records of 1571 refers to Richard as "Rici" and Robert as "Robtus." This occurs in a deed from father to son which, translated from the original, provided that the conveyance was made on condition that the said Robtus was not to sell or surrender the premises to any person or persons except by the family name of Trotte. This Taunton Manor, County of Somerset, by a coincidence, is the same parish from which came Thomas Trowbridge, one of 164 EGBERT TREAT, the original settlers of New Haven, from whom the distin- guished family of that name have descended. The parish rec- ords of Taunton, I am told by Mr. Francis B. Trowbridge, carry that family name back to 15Y0. With the authorities at command, we must assume that the name of Treat is absolutely of American coinage, as it does not exist in England. As far as known every person in the United States by the name of Treat is descended from Robert Treat. In the early records it was spelled "Treate" ; even the name of the wife of Governor Treat is so engraved upon her tombstone at Milford. The high social rank of Richard Trott or Treat, of Wethers- field, is demonstrated by the various offices of honor and trust that he held. Titles then amounted to something. Mr. was a mark of importance. "Esq." attached to a name indicated, as in Old England, a land-owner, and these titles were as highly esteemed as Hon. is now, not more than five per cent, of the community being then entitled to their use. Richard Trott or Treat was frequently referred to in the records as "Mr." and "Esq." Some of the early writers assume that he arrived in the Saltonstall Colony in 1630 ; others that he was a deputy from Wethersfield as early as 1637 ; both theories are errors, as the records in England show that Katharine, the youngest of his nine children, was baptized there in February, 1637. The Connecticut colonial records show that he was chosen deputy in 1644 and annually thereafter for fourteen years; then being chosen magistrate eight times in succession until 1665. With the names of John Winthrop, Mason, Gold, and Wol- cott, his name appears as one of the patentees of the charter secured for the colony in 1660 from Charles II, by Governor Winthrop. He is said to have been a person of wealth and owned large tracts of land in what is now the town of Glaston- bury. Frequent mention is made of him in the records as laying out lands. It is probable that Robert acquired some knowledge of surveying from his father. Robert Treat was the second son and fifth child of Richard Treat, the first-comer. He was baptized in England, February, KOBEKT TREAT. 165 1624, and was one of the original company that settled in Milford in 1639. Then a very young man, his name with nine others is recorded separately immediately after the forty-four church members. (These ten not being conceded the privileges of citizenship.) Lambert says that at the first meeting of the planters, Kobert, then under sixteen, being skilled in surveying, was one of the nine appointed to lay out the home lots. Stiles refers to him as being then seventeen years old. Some writers assume that he was studying theology under Peter Prudden, and thus came from Wethersfield to Milford with the Prudden family. While he did not have the advantages of a college training, he was certainly well educated, as is shown in after years, when he frequently made use of Latin and other languages. He immediately became a conspicuous character in the town and the colony. Lambert gives him the credit of being the first town clerk of Milford, from 1640 to 1648. This must, to a certain extent, be tradition as the fragments of the records of the town of that period that are preserved do not confirm this. The 'New Haven Colonial Records first mention his name in 1644 and not again until 1653. This is accounted for by the fact of the loss of the records of that period, except so far as they refer to magistrates. From the year 1653, records preserved show that he was chosen deputy to the General Court from Milford and each year following until the court of May, 1659, when he was advanced to magistrate. He con- tinued in that office until 1664, when, although again chosen, he declined to accept. Magistrates then not only constituted what is now the upper house of the General Assembly, but the Supreme Court of the State. The confederation of ISTew Haven colony effected in 1642 consisted of Milforde, Guilforde, Stamforde and Yennicock (Southold). The Government for the whole jurisdiction was fully organized this year and for the first time are distinctly recorded the names of governor, deputy governor, magistrates and deputies. Mr. Eaton was annually chosen Governor while he lived and generally Mr. Goodyear, Deputy Governor. They had no salary 166 ROBERT TREAT. but served solely for the honor and the public good. Francis N'ewman succeeded Mr. Eaton as Governor. In 1661 William Leete of Guilford was elected Governor, continuing in that office until the union with the Connecticut Colony was effected. At the General Court at New Haven, 1654, the court was informed that "Milford have chosen Kobert Treate leiutenant for their towne and desire he may be confirmed by this court." In 1647 he married Jane, the daughter of Edmund Tapp, who was one of the original founders and one of the seven pillars of the church. A pretty story, told by Lambert and frequently repeated, is as follows: — "At a spinning bee or frolic on a Christmas night, Robert, being somewhat older, took Jane upon his knee and began to trot her. 'Robert,' said she, 'be still, I would rather be treated than trotted.' " She soon became the bride of Robert Treat. The story is conceded to be a clever reference to the name of Trott or Treat. The result of this marriage was eight children, four boys and four girls, although Savage, in his genealogy, gave the number as twenty-one; evidently the children of his son Robert were counted in this estimate. William Fowler, the first magistrate in the town and an ancestor of Mr. Henry Fowler English, the donor of this build- ing to the ISTew Haven Colony Historical Society, was commis- sioned to erect the first mill in the colony. He was assisted in the enterprise by Robert Treat, who evidently retained a share in the mill, as it is mentioned in his will. Charles I, ''the star chamber ruler," was claimed to be a good man but a bad king. He had a cultured mind, was a devoted husband and fond father; but an unscrupulous ruler. He ruled, not because England chose him or considered that he ruled for the good of England or not. He assumed that he was placed upon the throne by the Lord of Hosts and he there- fore governed according to his o^vn ideas. A victim of his own mismanagement, his defeat at Marston Moor was followed by his death on the scaffold, to which he was condemned by his own judges, his death-warrant being signed by fifty-nine, includ- ing the regicides Goffe, Whalley and Dixwell, whose history is so closely interwoven with that of ISTew Llaven Colony. ROBERT TREAT. 167 During the two years' stay of the regicides Goffe and Whalley in Milford, tradition says that Kobert Treat was among their selected acquaintances and friends and that when the letter was received from Charles II, commanding their arrest, Treat immediately signed a warrant and commanded the inhabitants of Milford to make a diligent search, well aware that no search, however diligent, would be successful in finding them within the tovTn limits. A period of ten years followed without interference on the part of the mother country, until 1660, when we find Charles II upon the throne. Massachusetts and Plymouth had charter rights, Connecticut and ^ew Haven only a voluntary form of government. The General Court of Connecticut immediately made formal acknowledgment of allegiance to the crown and applied for a charter, l^ew Haven Colony hesitated and finally omitted to take such action. Governor Winthrop of Connecticut in the early part of the year sailed for England. A number of his friends held high positions at Court. Possessing an extraordinary ring given his grandfather by Charles I, he found favor by presenting it to the King, and returned with that most remarkable and liberal charter, so broad and comprehensive, which settled the whole boundary line of Connecticut soil, including all that portion occupied by the ISTew Haven Colony. Great discontent prevailed in the colony. Treat and many others favored a union with Connecticut, yet were opposed to many of the conditions. The controversy was intense for some years. Davenport differed with Governor Leete on the subject. Many declined to pay their taxes and ignored the ISTew Haven laws. The debt of the colony was increasing. Milford broke off from 'New Haven and declined to send deputies or magis- trates to the General Court. Under these conditions a Special Court was held at ISTew Haven, at which the members of the court and the elders of the colony consulted upon the subject of a proposed union. After much discussion Robert Treat, Esq., and Richard Baldwin of 168 EOBEKT TREAT. Milford were appointed a committee to accomplish the business with Connecticut. The selection of Kobert Treat was especially fitting, not only from his ability, but from his birth and connections. His father, Eichard, as well as his brothers and brothers-in-law were patentees in the charter grant and occupied important positions in Connecticut. By marriage Treat was connected with the influential settlers Tapp and William Fowler, magis- trates and pillars of the church. As the result of the negotiations on May 1, 1665, both colonies, consisting of nineteen towns, amicably united and John Winthrop, Esq., was chosen Governor, (Branford was the only town that declined to accept the conditions of the union that were in many respects unsatisfactory to Robert Treat.) About this time Davenport, disheartened with the trend of events, removed to Boston. Twice during the controversy between the two colonies, with Benjamin Fenn and Deacon Gunn, Robert Treat was sent by a company of distinguished settlers and dissenters to negotiate with the Dutch Governor for a settlement in ]^ew Jersey. It is said that the Governor took them in his private barge to examine l!Tewark Bay and in the spring of 1666, Robert Treat sailed into the Passaic River with forty heads of families in the company, chiefly from IsTew Haven, Milford and Bran- ford, with Rev. Abraham Pierson, afterward one of the founders and the first rector or first president of Yale College, as their spiritual leader. Adopting such articles as were cited in the fundamental agree- ment of twenty-seven years previous at New Haven, the town settled by them was called "Milford" until 1667, when the name "Newark" was adopted out of honor to the English home of Rev. Mr. Pierson. Every male member of the com- pany signed the agreement and the signatures might well indi- cate to some that Davenport and Eaton were located on the banks of the Passaic instead of on the banks of the Quinnipiack. In the agreement Robert Treat's name heads the list. Honoring Treat as their leader and pioneer, in laying out the lots, he was given first choice and chose the lot in Newark EGBERT TKEAT. 169 now bounded by Market Street, Mulberry Street and Broad Street. He was Newark's first town clerk and recorder. At the first General Assembly in New Jersey in 1668, Captain Treat is referred to as one of the Deputies and later on as one of the Governor's Commissioners. Barber and Howe in their Historical Collections of New Jersey speak of Newark's being indebted to him for its wide main streets and the beauty and extent of the public square, while Stearns in his history speaks of Mr. Treat as follows: '"Next comes Robert Treat, the flower and pride of the whole company. To his wise energy, Newark owes much of its early order and good management." In 1672 Treat returned to Connecticut and his first-love, Milford, never having sold his property there. He, however, left two of his children on the soil of New Jersey, and a mem- ory in Newark that is cherished to the present day, and by all historical writers on the subject and at all historical local celebrations, Robert Treat is referred to as, and conceded to be, the father and the founder of the city of Newark. We now approach the military career of Robert Treat. As ?:-'=fore mentioned, as early as 1654, he was chosen lieutenant of the Train Band at Milford and by the General Court com- missioned to take charge of the military affairs of the town. In 1661 he was elected captain. The year following his return from New Jersey he was commissioned as major and appointed second Commander-in-Chief of the forces to be raised in the Colony and sent against the Dutch. The existing conflict with the Dutch kept the colony in constant anxiety. Treat formed what was known as a "Committee of Safety." The year 1675 was a serious year for the New England Colony. The Indians, who, after the conquest of the Pequots in 1637, for a long period seemed to be fairly peaceful, now became restless. New outbreaks occurred in the Plymouth Colony, in Massa- chusetts and Rhode Island. While Connecticut did not suffer as did the other colonies, her alliance with the New England Colonies made the situation serious. In this year, with a burst of uncommon fury, came the organized efforts of the various tribes in combined hostilities, resulting in the famous King 170 BOBEET TREAT. Philip's War, the most disastrous of the Indian wars in iSTew England history. One thousand men were ordered for active service hv the United Colonies, the quota of Connecticut being three himdred and fifty. John Mason, for years the most important and distinguished military commander of the State, was far advanced in years and infirm, and thus retired from further service. Robert Treat, looked upon as his most able military successor, was chosen "Commander-in-Chief of the Connecticut forces and commissioned to take charge of all the military forces with such arms, ammunition, provisions and appurtenances, all ofiicers and all soldiers, marshaled, maintained and disposed of." About the time Treat assumed command, Captain Lathrop of Massachusetts with a band of ninety picked men, known as the "Flower of Essex," and the best drilled company in the colony, had been led into ambush, overwhelmed, and only eight of their number escaped. The Indians in large numbers were making attacks with arrows tipped with burning rags shot on the roofs of the houses, destroying towns, ruining the crops of the farmers and driving the inhabitants from place to place. Treat quickly moved his forces to Massachusetts in defense and began his brilliant campaign at Deerfield, l^orthfield, Hadley, Bloody Brook and Springfield, and by his swift movements, arriving as he always did at a critical moment, turned defeat into victory. During this campaign, which lasted until fall, he had frequently been called back with his command to defend Connecticut and the promptness and skill of his manoeuvers was remarkable and gave him great prestige as a commander. At the close of the campaign, however, Treat resigned his commission. His resignation was not accepted. Instead, the General Assembly passed a vote of thanks for his good services and requested that he continue, giving him increased powers to raise and command all the troops necessary. Authorities say he was rapidly becoming second to none in the colony except perhaps the Governor. Winter was approaching. The Indians had gone into winter quarters at their Narragansett fort near Kingston, R. I., to wait ROBERT TREAT. 171 until spring, when the shelter of the leaves would afford them greater advantages for warfare. The Colonies, however, deemed it wise to make an attack upon them while massed together, and the 10th of December, 1675, was the day appointed on which the attack was to be made. Every Englishman capable of bear- ing arms was commanded by proclamation of the Governor to hold himself in readiness to march at a moment's notice. Major General Josiah Winslow was to command the expedi- tion, with Major Samuel Appleton of Massachusetts, Major Robert Treat of Connecticut and Major William Bradford of Plymouth commanding their respective forces; Treat being selected as second in command to General Winslow. The entire force consisted of 1,127 men; 450 from Connecticut, with 200 Mohicans under Oneco. It was a cold December day when Major Treat, with his command, left 'New London and began his march to join the forces near Wickford, camping in the open air in the midst of heavy snow. The ISTarragansett fort stood on a hill in the center of a vast swamp, which was an island of about five or six acres surrounded by high palisades and in which were 3,500 Indian warriors. The only entrance was over a fallen tree protected by a block house, which, Hubbard says, "sorely gauled the men who first attempted to enter." The beginning was most disastrous. Connecticut troops were driven back with heavy losses. Four Connecticut captains were killed at the head of their command and a fifth received a mortal wound. A bullet passed through the hat of Major Treat. The situation was critical when Oneco offered to scale the wall and force a real entrance. This was accomplished, and the Connecticut men under Major Treat entering the fort, saved the day. This battle, known as the great swamp fight, was of great importance to the English. It was the most remarkable in New England and in the annals of the early colonies, and was won at the expense of many lives, including brave and valued officers. The ISTarragansetts never again offered any organized resistance. 172 ROBEKT TEE AT. Treat with the remainder of his army returned home imme- diately. Sometime afterward he was commissioned as Colonel of the militia in E'ew Haven County. This being the first official reference on the records to a Colonel for ISTew Haven County, we must assume that ISTovember, 1687, was the birth of what is now the Second Eegiment, Connecticut ISTational Guard; that such a regiment has been continuously in existence since that period; and that Eobert Treat was its first Colonel. Complications arose in reference to boundary lines between the Dutch and the ISTew England Colonies, the Dutch claiming all the land in Connecticut south of the Connecticut River. The commissioners agreed upon to settle the dispute were Robert Treat, ITathan Gold, John Allen and William Pitkin. The conference resulted in the formation of Connecticut's western border line known as the "Ridgefield Angle," and the surrender to l^ew York of the towns on Long Island previously belonging to Connecticut, and secured for Connecticut the present towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and a part of iN'orwalk. In the midst of these boundary disputes occurred the death of Winthrop after eighteen years of distinguished service. He was succeeded by William Leete who had been Governor of the I^Tew Haven Colony before the union of the colonies and Deputy of the Connecticut Colony under Winthrop after their union. Robert Treat was now chosen Deputy Governor and was annu- ally reelected until the death of Governor Leete in 1683, when he was elected the eighth Governor of Connecticut and the third under the new charter. By reelection he held this office fifteen years, then declining to become Governor again was elected Deputy Governor for the following ten years. We may with profit pause here for a moment and contemplate the high character of the early Colonial Governors. John Haynes, the first Governor of Connecticut, was said to have been an ideal representative of the civil life, as Hooker was the apostle of the religious. Coleridge, in referring to him, calls him "a religious and moral aristocracy." ROBERT TREAT. 173 The second Governor, Edwin Hopkins, was also a distin- guished man. He was son-in-law of Eaton, first Governor of the 'New Haven Colony, who was a wealthy London mer- chant. He engaged extensively in trade and commerce; he established trading posts and country stores from New England to Delaware and left property in his will to establish the grammar schools bearing his name, that are in existence to-day. Upon the death of Governor Hopkins in England, George Wyllys was elected the third Governor for one year. Wyllys was then seventy-two years of age, and is said to have been a gentleman of leisure, of high character and standing. He owned the square in the center of the City of Hartford on which the charter oak stood. Thomas Welles, the fourth Governor, held the office for two terms. He was the first Treasurer of the colony and came to America in the interests of Lord Say in settling Saybrook. John Webster, the fifth Governor, founder of the Webster family in America, an ancestor of iN'oah Webster, was said to be the most scholarly of the early Governors of the colony. John Winthrop, Jr., the sixth Governor, youngest son of the famous Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, was one of the foremost men in l!^ew England and his worth is expressed in a single sentence quoted from Mather, "God gave him favor in the eyes of all with whom he had to do." Governor William Leete, seventh Governor, was a descendant of a distinguished family, which, as early records show, were land owners as early as the 13 th century. He was noted for his integrity, was a popular official, and enjoyed the distinction of being Governor of both ISTew Haven and the Connecticut Colonies. Our little commonwealth, the Constitution State, denominated by historians as the "Birthplace of political freedom," as well as "The land of steady habits," has a history replete with dramatic incidents and full of events that excite interest and veneration. The three periods which command the most intense interest occurred under the administration of Governors Robert Treat, 174 ROBERT TREAT. Jonathan Trumbull and William A. Buckingham. These three men may justly be referred to as the three war Governors of Connecticut. Soon after the election of Governor Treat, com- plications arose in England. James II proposed to revoke the Colonial charters and withdraw the privileges granted by Charles II in both Old and l^ew England. This was undoubt- edly the most critical period in the history of ISTew England. The charters of all the I^ew England Colonies were called for. It was proposed to annex Connecticut either to Massachusetts or to the Netherlands, or else to cut it in two at the Connecticut River and divide it between the two. The situation was peril- ous and the prospect of Connecticut being wiped from off the map as a State was for a time imminent. Sir Edmund Andros, referred to as the "Tyrant of jSTew England," was appointed Governor of all the jSTew England Colonies. He arrived in Boston in December, 1686, authorized to take the government of all the settlements in iSTew England into his own hands. Plymouth, Massachusetts and Rhode Island surrendered at once. He then notified Governor Treat that he proposed visiting Connecticut to take command of its affairs and possession of its charter. Treat opened negotia- tions and consumed months in writing, attempting to pacify him, and under one pretense and another succeeded in causing a delay of nearly a year or until the October following, when Andros became impatient and sent a messenger to notify Treat of his intention of coming to Connecticut at once. The General Assembly immediately convened. Sir Edmund arrived, attended by a retinue and a bodyguard of troops, and was received with great ceremony and hospitality. Governor Treat escorted him to the Assembly, showing him marked atten- tion. He was introduced, and the ceremonies and discussion of that famous afternoon and evening were begun. Treat's plan and instructions were: First, prevent, if pos- sible, the loss of the charter; second, failing in this, plead that the colony be allowed to remain undivided and unattached to any other. It is said that the arguments on the part of Treat were made with great diplomacy. At all times he referred to Andros with ROBEET TREAT. 175 respect and friendliness. With his cool temperament, great wisdom and winning manner, he made a long address, stating the attachment the people had for their charter, the privations they had endured in procuring it and pleading that they might be permitted to retain it; that their territory should not be divided and that they would prefer to serve under Governor Andros. The afternoon wore away. Treat still arguing and pleading with marked skill and diplomacy, battling for the rights of the people. Lights had to be brought in to enable the members to trans- act the business. The charter had been laid on the table before them during the discussion. Suddenly the lights were extin- guished. Confusion followed and before the lights and order were restored someone had removed the charter. Discussion occurs as to whether the original or duplicate charter was before the body, or both, but this is immaterial. The original charter was written on three skins and is in the Capitol at Hartford, and the duplicate on two skins is in possession of the Connect- icut Historical Society. It was the custom to execute all impor- tant documents in duplicate, so that if one was lost in trans- mission across the ocean, the other might be preserved. President Stiles writes as follows: "iN'athan Stanley, father of the late Colonel Stanley, took one of the charters, and Mr. Talcott, father of the late Governor Talcott, took the other." Other very reliable authorities, however, say that Captain Wadsworth and Captain N"ichols of Hartford cooperated to save the charter. There must have been many assistants in the plot, however, as the lights were all extinguished simul- taneously. Wadsworth grabbed the charter and hid it in the trunk of that venerable oak that thus became the most famous tree in the world. Later, Captain Wadsworth is supposed to have secreted the charter in his house, where it remained until the reestablishment of the colonial government. The day's proceedings were evidently planned and the indi- cations are that Governor Treat was associated with the prin- cipal actors in the drama. Andros returned to Boston without the charter. Evidently he was much impressed with the quali- ties of Governor Treat, for the month following this episode, 176 ROBERT TREAT. he made him a member of his council and judge in this territory. Governor Andros's administration was highly tyrannical. All the colonies from Maine to the Delaware were brought under his arbitrary rule, and this was a severe blow to their prosperity. He was responsible to no one but the King for whatever he might choose to do. While his headquarters were in Boston, one of the principal meeting houses there was seized. Taxes were imposed. Nothing was allowed to be printed with- out permission. All the records of N'ew England were ordered to be brought to Boston. Deeds and wills were required to be registered in Boston and excessive fees were charged for this work. The titles of land were ordered revised, and those who wished the title confirmed had to pay a heavy tax. General Courts were abolished. Dudley, first assistant to Sir Edmund, openly declared the people had no further privileges except not to be sold for slaves. When the news of the landing of the Prince of Orange in England was received in Boston in April, 1689, drums beat to arms and signal fires were lighted on Beacon Hill. The militia poured in from the country towns. The people rose in revolt and demanded Andros to surrender his position. Attempting to escape the authorities, disguised in woman's clothes, he was caught and imprisoned on board a ship and sent baOT^to England. Bradstreet, in his eighty-seventh year, was reinstated Gov- ernor of Massachusetts and Robert Treat in Connecticut. Treat, in resuming his ofiice, stated that the "people had put him in and that he had ventured all he had above his shoulders." Immediately proclaiming the allegiance of the Colony to Wil- liam and Mary, Treat by wise statesmanship secured a decision confirming the validity of the charter. At the age of seventy- six he declined reelection to the office of Governor and was succeeded by Fitz-John Winthrop. The Colony being unwilling to excuse him from public service. Treat was elected Deputy Governor for a second time and was continuously elected as such for the following ten years until at the age of eighty-six, ROBERT TREAT. 177 at his own request, he was excused from oflacial duties, and retired from public life. He was Deputy Governor, 1676-1683, seven years; Governor, 1683-1698, fifteen years; Lieutenant Governor, 1698-1708, ten years. Treat was a Deputy from Milford for at least six years and from Newark five more, and Magistrate in the I^ew Haven General Court and assistant for eight years, serving nearly twenty years in the halls of legislation. He was seventeen years in the chair of Deputy Governor and fifteen years in that of Governor, including the two years under Andros, making in all a period of thirty-two years as Governor and Deputy Gov- ernor, or a total of fifty-two years of public service, a record unequalled in the history of this State or of any other so far as history quotes where the oflSces were elective. During this period, in addition to the ofiicial duties required from him in the various offices mentioned, he was frequently appointed to hold court, to settle disputes of every kind and character that arose in the colony. He also adjusted differ- ences between ministers and the people, and established boundary lines between the State and the different towns in the State. So well balanced was his judgment that he never made a legal mistake. The Historian Sheldon says, ''He had the faculty for always being in the right place at the right time." Robert Treat was a practical farmer. It is said he was often found with his hands upon the plow and called to the stone wall by the roadside to sigti important papers, or to leave a half-turned furrow and muster his troops to quell some Indian disturbance or resist some Indian invasion. He was an important land-holder, not only in his own town but in various towns throughout the State, many of which he had assisted in founding or surveying. Three hundred acres of his are mentioned between ISTew Haven, Farmington and Wallingf ord ; three hundred more in Killingly, now of Wind- ham County; while his holdings in N'ewark were among the largest in that colony. He left a large fortune for a man of his time. (Among the items of his personal property, the inventory shows "two slaves" appraised at eighty-five pounds.) 178 ROBERT TREAT. It is said that no estate of consequence in Milford was settled between 1670 and 1700 without his assistance. It is to be regretted that no portrait of Governor Treat exists. The chair that Governor Treat used officially is in good state of preservation and in possession of Mrs. Henry Champion, a descendant of the Governor. The house in which he lived is illustrated in "Lambert's History of the Colony of "New Haven," p. 138. Lambert states that it stood upon the original plot of Edmund Tapp, number 35, as shown in the map drawn in 1646. This would indicate that the house stood on the east side of what is now North Street, a few rods above the Plymouth Church and at the comer of Governor's Avenue. Atwater, in his history of the colony, also refers to it, but gives Lambert as authority. A buttonball tree, which stood for a number of years in his dooryard, is said to have originated as follows : Using a green sapling to drive his oxen, Governor Treat was called upon for some public service. He stuck the sapling into the ground temporarily where he could readily pick it up as he came out of the house. It was forgotten, rooted and became a handsome shade tree. In the early part of the last century a house was built upon the original cellar and foundation of the Treat house by Mr. Lewis F. Baldwin and his daughter. Mrs. John W. Bucking- ham now occupies the house. Treat lived to see a distinguished family grow up around him. His children and descendants rose to positions of honor in this and other colonies. His oldest son. Rev. Samuel Treat, located in Massachusetts. Eunice, daughter of Samuel, mar- ried Rev. Thomas Paine, father of Robert Treat Paine, Revo- lutionary patriot, member of the First Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Attorney General and Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. His son,* bearing the same name, born in 1775, was a distinguished poet in his day. * This Robert Treat Paine was originally named Thomas. Not wish- ing to bear the name of Thomas Paine, the Atheist, by act of Legislation in 1801 his name was changed to Robert Treat Paine. KOBEET TREAT. 179 Thomas Treat Paine, born in 1803, was a noted astronomer and left a large property to Harvard College. His relative was tlie lato Robert Treat Paine, known in our generation as a philanthropist, and for years President of the International Peace Congress, whose son the Rev. George Lyman Paine is now Rector of St. Paul's Church, this city. The church and our community are to be congratulated, and they welcome back to the colony so prominent a descendant of Governor Treat. One son remained in ISTewark, where the family became prom- inent. Two remained in Milford, and many of Milford's old and honored men for the past two centuries have borne the name. One daughter married Rev. Samuel Mather of Windsor. The other, Abigail, married the Rev. Samuel Andrew, one of the founders of Yale. Many of his descendants, bearing the name of Treat and other prominent names, are men distinguished either as states- men, leaders, ministers or military commanders. Governor Treat's death occurred on July 10, 1710. He was buried in the old cemetery at Milford. The stone, unique in its character and in good state of preservation, reads as follows : HEKE LYETH INTERRED THE BODY OF COLL. ROBERT TREAT ESQ. WHO FAITHFULLY SERVED THIS COLONY IN THE POST OF GOVERNOR AND DEPUTY GOVERNOR NEAR YE SPACE OF THIRTY YEARS AND AT YE AGE OF FOUR SCORE AND EIGHT YEARS EXCHANGED THIS LIFE FOR A BETTER, JULY 12tH ANNO dom: 1710 His last will is full of expressions of tenderness, such as this : "Being aged in years and not knowing how suddenly the Lord may by death call me home from out of this life, but being 180 ROBERT TREAT. at present of sound understanding and memory, etc." Then the will proceeds "as a pledge of my fatherly love and farewell kindness to my dear and loving children." On the Memorial Bridge erected at Milford in 1889, in com- memoration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town, was placed on the Tower the largest slab in honor of Governor Treat. Trumbull, 1797, says, "Few men have sustained a fairer character or rendered the public a more important service." "Connecticut as a Colony and a State, 1904," says of Treat, "He was a beau-ideal of a gentleman." Perhaps we cannot better close our references to the life and services of Robert Treat than to quote the tribute paid to him by Hollister in his "History of Connecticut, 1855" as it seems to round up briefly and concisely his many characteristics. It reads as follows : — "Governor Treat was not only a man of high courage, but he was one of the most cautious military leaders and possessed a quick sagacity united with a breadth of understanding that enabled him to see at a glance the most complex relations that surrounded the field of battle. Not did he excel only as a hero; his moral courage and inherent force of character shone with the brightest lustre in the Executive Chair or Legislative Chamber, when stimulated by the opposition and malevolence of such men as Andros. In private life he was no less esteemed. He was a planter of that hospitable order that adorned New England in an age when hospitality was accounted a virtue and when the term 'Gentleman' was something more than an empty title. His house was always open to the poor and friendless and whenever he gave his hand he gave his heart. Hence, whether marching to the relief of Springfield or extending his charities to Whalley or Goffe, while he drowned a tear of sympathy in the lively sparkle of fun and anecdote, he was always welcome, always beloved. His quick sensibilities, his playful humor, his political wisdom, his firmness in the midst of dangers, and his deep piety have still a tradi- tionary fame in the neighborhood where he spent the brief portion of his time that he was allowed to devote to the culture of the domestic and social virtues." LIBRftRY OF CONGRESS lllilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiih 014 110 597 8.